As the graduating class of 2020, whether that be from high school or college, we have had our fair share of disappointments this school year.
When we found out we would never go to high school or college again, most of us were devastated. All we wanted to do was spend one more day with our friends and teachers who shaped us into who we are today.
Not only did our own personal lives change, but we saw the world around us suffer, both emotionally and physically because of COVID-19. When graduation season rolled around, we saw memories pop up on Facebook and Snapchat of our older friends graduating, and every picture was a reminder of all we had lost.
Instead of walking out of the school for the last time as students, we turned in our last assignments on our couches. Instead of cheering each other on at our final games and concerts, we watched replays of past games and shows on TV. Instead of attending our traditional graduation ceremony, we hoped we would be reunited in a couple of months.
Nothing was how I thought it was supposed to be.
When the situation started, as every day passed by, I found myself thinking about what I would be doing or what class I would be in if life was “normal.” I longed for the security that comes with certainty, but the world had none to offer. There was nothing certain about the future, and nearly everything consistent in my life before was no longer consistent.
A little over a month ago, I caught myself thinking about what I would be doing if life was "normal," but I stopped myself. I remembered this small piece of advice that I had forgotten: “You are exactly where you are meant to be.” I had always relied on this during difficult times before COVID-19. I believe this phrase with my whole heart, because any time in the past that my plan didn’t turn out as I thought, I would learn lessons I couldn’t have learned any other way.
From that day on, I stopped myself from wondering what I would be doing every day if life was normal. I realized life doesn’t work out how we think it should. What I thought should be my current situation was never actually in God’s plan. He has bigger and better plans for the class of 2020 than any traditional graduation ceremony, prom, or final game or concert would ever be for us. Our class was meant to be where we are now, and I know now that dwelling over what could’ve or should’ve been robs us of the immense joy that can be found in our current situations.
Since I’ve changed my mindset on this situation, I’ve made new connections, worked with fellow seniors across the state, appreciated every minute spent with my friends and family, and recognized that there truly is good in every situation.
We have endured heavy loads over these last couple of months, as has the rest of the world. But we don’t ask for sympathy; we ask for support. We know that people around us are suffering as much and more than we are. As we venture out into the next phase of our lives, we ask for support so that we can help make our world a better place and help those who are suffering, COVID-19 related or not.
We are ready to take on the unknown.
We will always be exactly where we’re meant to be.
Kahrie Stegman is a 2020 graduate of Pratt High School.